The Senate is set to take a test vote Tuesday evening to break a filibuster and begin work on an interim spending bill to avoid a government shutdown.
Tuesday’s vote at 5:30 p.m. ET is a test to see if the proposal by Sen. Joe Manchin., D-W.Va., to expedite energy permitting and approve a pipeline in his state can command 60 votes. If it can’t, the funding deal is likely stalled.
A coalition of liberal Democrats and many Republicans have teamed up on Manchin. Progressives don’t like the energy permitting provisions due to their concern about the environment. Republicans oppose the plan because – while they like new energy permits – they don’t want to give Manchin a win.
Republicans are holding a grudge against Manchin after he helped cut a deal to pass the Democrats’ spending, tax and climate bill in August. Part of Manchin’s arrangement with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to vote yes on that bill was a guarantee that permitting reform would be in the interim spending plan.
MANCHIN RELEASES ENERGY PERMITTING BILL, HOPES GOP, DEMS RALLY AROUND IT
The stopgap bill funds the government through December 16 and includes $12 billion in aid for Ukraine and domestic heating assistance. Otherwise, the bill renews all government funding at current levels.
Both the House and Senate must approve the Band-Aid bill before the government coffers run dey at 12:00:01 a.m. ET Saturday.
MANCHIN ENERGY PROPOSAL PICKS UP KEY GOP VOTE BUT STILL FACES TOUGH PATH TO PASSAGE
If Tuesday’s test vote fails to hit the 60 vote thresh, as many Democrats and Republicans are opposed, Schumer could strip out the Manchin plan and call for a re-vote. Or, the House could orchestrate its own version of a spending plan – bereft of the Manchin provision – and send it to the Senate.
Either way, the time is slipping off the clock. There is now a high probability that there is a lapse in government funding at least for a bit over the weekend because both bodies will have slightly missed the deadline.
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